Buckingham Palace Garden Party

Every year the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), of which Skills Group is a member, is asked by the Lord Lieutenants Offices if they would like to put a small number of names forward to attend one of the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Many organisations, Societies, Local Government to the Church and other Faiths are asked to nominate guests for invitation, in this way it is hoped that a cross section of the community will be represented. At this stage all names go on a list for final selection.

This year AELP asked Skills Group if they would like to put a name forward, someone we felt has made a major contribution to the company. Debbie Rowan, Quality Improvement Manager, was nominated by our MD, Mark Boulting, due to her long standing service and dedication to training and education.

Of all those put forward, Debbie was given an invitation and attended the Royal Garden Party.

On Tuesday 15 May, Debbie attended the Royal Garden Party. The celebrations began when the Palace gates opened at around 3pm and the Party officially began when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other Members of the Royal Family, entered the garden at 4pm, when the National Anthem was played by one of the two military bands present. During the afternoon, Debbie had the opportunity to wander the royal gardens, meet the Queen and take high tea in one of the Royal tents.

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School